Toronto: Canadian police have arrested four men and are searching for five others suspects in connection with the theft of six million pounds of maple syrup worth USD 18 million from a warehouse in Quebec City.
The thieves managed to steal the sticky substance from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford between August 2011 and July of this year, ABC News reported.
"It`s one of the most important robberies in Quebec because of the quantity stolen and the value of the syrup," said Sgt. Gregory Gomez Del Prado of Quebec police.
Quebec police arrested Stephan Darveau yesterday, after arresting three others on Tuesday, linking all four to the ongoing investigation.
Richard Vallieres, 34, Avik Caron, 39, and another unnamed suspect met in court yesterday on charges of conspiracy to commit theft, possession of property obtained by crime and fraud.
Quebec police have arrest warrants for four other suspects, the report said.
"We know there are probably more people involved. It`s a complex case," said Simon Trepanier, director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.
"At the beginning we knew it had been done by a very organised group because it’s impossible to steal that amount of maple syrup without being organised."
During the police investigation, police were able to recover two elevator carts, four kettles of syrup, forklifts and six electronic scales ? all items used during the theft.
Trepanier said his organisation stored the overproduction supply of their 2011 harvest in roughly 10 million barrels located within a rented facility. The organisation did not know of the heist until the warehouse workers called to report empty syrup barrels.
Maple syrup is often eaten with pancakes, waffles, French toast, or oatmeal and porridge. It is also used as an ingredient in baking, and as a sweetener or flavouring agent.
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers believe several million cans of stolen maple syrup may be sitting on US grocery shelves.
Quebec is by far the largest global producer of maple syrup, responsible for about three-quarters of the world`s output. Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed USD 141 million per year.